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A reading lesson on earth science.
 

PLATE TECTONICS

A science lesson on plate tectonics and the earth. Includes printable teaching reading comprehension lesson worksheets.

 

Objectives:

  • Students will learn how scientific theories are developed and change over time as new information is learned.
  • Students will learn that the earth's surface consists of different sized plates that move in response to movements in the mantle.  Major geological events such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and mountain building result from these plate motions.

Suggested Grades:

3rd Grade - 4th Grade - 5th Grade - 6th Grade

 



 
 
 

 

PLATE TECTONICS LESSON

 

Directions:

Print the Plate Tectonics reading comprehension passage and questions (see below).

 

Students should read the passage silently, then answer the questions.  Teachers may also use the text as part of a classroom lesson plan.

 

Lesson Excerpt

     In 1910, Alfred Wegener proposed the theory of continental drift.  He noticed that the edges of South America and Africa looked as though they fit together like a large jigsaw puzzle.  He believed that the continents had been joined together at one time but had drifted apart.  He found evidence to prove his theory.  Fossils of plant and animal life matched on the two continents.  Rock layers also matched.  Wegener's theory was first published in 1915.  But he could not answer one question:  How did the continents move?  He thought they were plowing through the ocean crust, moved by tides.  Other scientists knew this could not happen.  Wegener's theory was mostly forgotten.

     In the 1960's, scientists finally found what was missing in Wegener's theory.  Geologist Harry Hess finally could explain how continents moved.  Hess believed that sea-floor spreading is the answer to the mystery of continental drift.

Continued...

 

LESSON PRINTABLES

Plate Tectonics Lesson and Worksheet

Print this science worksheet for this lesson.

 Includes reading passage, questions, and answer sheet.

 

 

 

 

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